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State Senate candidate wants off ballot over faked petition signatures.

This is bizarre — even by New York political standards. A candidate for state Senate has filed a court petition pleading to be tossed off the Sept. 13 Democratic primary ballot because the nominating petitions she herself submitted are riddled with fraud. Jasmine Robinson, who had been running against state Sen. Diane Savino in the...
Time: 13:36     Date: 20.07.2018
Metro News: State Senate candidate wants off ballot over faked petition signatures. NY Post 24 - US News

A candidate for state Senate has filed a court petition pleading to be tossed off the Sept. 13 Democratic primary ballot because the nominating petitions she herself submitted are riddled with fraud.

Jasmine Robinson, who had been running against state Sen. Diane Savino in the 23rd district that covers parts of Staten Island and south Brooklyn, said she discovered that people she hired to round up voter signatures submitted numerous names on her petitions that were fake.

The scam apparently came to light when Brian Laline, executive editor of the Staten Island Advance, emailed Robinson’s campaign to say that his name — and that of his wife — somehow ended up on the petitions, according to papers filed in Manhattan state Supreme Court.

Robinson’s lawyer, Arthur Schwartz, then notified the Board of Elections that an examination of the papers turned up a witness named Elizabeth Reynolds who supplied “multiple versions” of her signature and “many of the signatures appear forged.”

He said 300 voter signatures are now suspect.

Robinson missed the July 16 deadline to quit the race — so she needs a judge to get off the ballot.

In effect, she’s filing suit against her own candidacy.

The candidate’s mother, Gwendolyn Robinson, is listed as the plaintiff in the case.

Candidate Robinson “has discovered that many of the petitions she filed to get on the ballot are, at best, of questionable validity, and may contain fraud,” Schwartz said in the court filing.

He said neither the Board of Elections nor the lawyer for Savino oppose Robinson’s bid to voluntarily remove herself.

In the petition, Gwendolyn Robinson said: “After filing, a second and third review of the petitions indicated that several of the people who were paid to petition for her committed fraud. She is unsure now that he has a sufficient number of valid signatures to be on the ballot, a statement she made on the cover sheet. She is also concerned that a Court would rule that her petitions are `permeated with fraud.’ Although she was unaware, prior to filing, of the fraudulent activity, she does not want to proceed with the nomination under such circumstances.”

In a July 18 letter to elections officials, Schwartz explained what happened.

“We received an email yesterday from the editor of the Staten Island Advance, whose name and whose wife’s name appeared as signed to page 81 of the Volume. . . We pulled all of the pages done by that witness, whose name was signed as Elizabeth Reynolds, and found that, clearly multiple versions of `Elizabeth Reynolds’ signature were affixed that many of the signatures appeared forged. We have enclosed those sheets. They contain around 300 signatures,” he said.

Schwartz said the petitions in question were provided by a paid petitioner connected to another law firm the candidate had fired.

The odd turn of events is a gift to Savino, a former member of the eight-member Independent Democratic Caucus, which was aligned with the Republican majority in the state Senate.

Savino, though popular in her district, was being targeted by some lefty progressive for her affiliation with Republicans.

Now, she won’t have a primary.

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